Lefkada, or Lefkas or Leukas (Greek: Λευκάδα), is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea on the west coast of Greece, connected to the mainland by a long causeway and floating bridge. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Lefkada. It is situated on the northern part of the island, approximately 20 minutes by automobile away from Aktion National Airport. The island is part of the regional unit of Lefkada.
The myth about Sappho's suicide at Cape Lefkada is related to other myths linking the island to the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and to Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey. The German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld, having performed excavations at various locations of Lefkada, was able to obtain funding to do work on the island by suggesting that Lefkada was Homer's Ithaca, and the palace of Odysseus was located west of Nydri on the south coast of Lefkada. There have been suggestions by local tourism officials that several passages in the Odyssey point to Lefkada as a possible model for Homeric Ithaca. The most notable of these passages pushed by the local tourism board describes Ithaca as an island reachable on foot, which was the case for Lefkada since it is not really an island, that it was connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. According to Strabo, the coast of Acarnania was called Leucas in earlier times. The ancient sources call Leucas a Corinthian colony, perhaps with a Corcyraen participation. During the Peloponnesian War Leucas had joined the Spartan Confederation.
Lefkada measures 35 kilometres (22 miles) from north to south, and 15 kilometres (9 miles) from east to west. Its area is 336 square kilometres (130 sq mi). Its highest point is the mountain Stavrota, 1,158 metres (3,799 feet) above sea level, situated in the middle of the island. The east coast section of the island has small resorts of Lygia, Nikiana and Perigiali, all north of Nidri, the largest resort on the island. It is set in a sheltered location with views across to Skorpios—formerly owned by Aristotle Onassis, Meganissi and other small islands, as well as the Greek mainland. The main coastal road from Lefkada to Vasiliki runs through the village, although a bypass has now been completed which skirts the village to the west. There are regular car ferries to Kefalonia, Ithaca and Meganissi.
20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Nidri is the resort of Vasiliki, a windsurfing center. There are ferries to Kefalonia and Ithaca from Vasiliki. South of Vasiliki is Cape Lefkada, where the Greek female poet Sappho allegedly leapt to her death from the 30 m high cliffs.
The famous beach of Porto Katsiki is located on Lefkada's west coast. Lefkada was attached to mainland Greece (see above about Homer's Ithaca being Lefkada). The Corinthians dug a trench in the 7th century BC on its isthmus.
Lefkada is well known for its paradise beaches, with the blonde sand and the turquoise water. They have been awarded with blue flags, always in the first place of the international voting via internet.
Beaches, impressive in length and divine in beauty are located at the west coastline of Lefkada. Sandy with crystal water, beaches with the vegetation that reaches the edge, beaches with wild and imposing rocks, amazing beaches… Amoglossa, Castro, Gira, Aghios Ioannis, Pefkoulia, Aghios Nikitas, Milos, Kathisma, Gialos, Egremni and Porto Katsiki.
Porto Katsiki, Kathisma and Egremni appear in the cover pages of famous tourist magazines and newspapers, worldwide.
Porto Katsiki, the famous and awarded beach, voted as one of the best in Greece and one of the most popular in the Mediterranean Sea, is of a breathtaking beauty. Steep white rocks over a fantastic sandy beach and turquoise waters.
The east and the south side of Lefkada, offers lee, small and large beaches, with pebbles and paradise water: Ligia, Nikiana, Perigiali, Nydri, Desimi, Poros Ammousa, Agiofilli, Vassiliki.
In Meganissi, you can find many small, magnificent beaches, in a fiord shape: Aghios Ioannis, Spilia, Pakoumaki, Ampelakia, Atherinos, Limonari are the most well known beaches of Meganissi.
In the island of Kalamos and Kastos, you can swim, peaceful, lonely, pebbled beaches, accessible from the sea side.
The island has a typical Mediterranean climate: hot summers and cool winters, especially in the mountains.